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Drivers aghast at $4.15 a gallon

Published: Fri, April 29, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.

Average Valley Gas Prices

All-time high: $4.056 (July 15, 2008)

Last week: $3.848

Last month: $3.500

Six months ago: $2.757

Last year: $2.804

Source: AAA Fuel Price finder

By Karl Henkel



The $4-a-gallon gas threshold came and went quickly as fuel prices rose to as much as $4.15 a gallon Thursday for regular unleaded.

Many motorists, such as Marianne Vaughn, treasurer at Western Reserve Transit Authority, woke up to gas under $4 a gallon, but prices jumped nearly 25 cents starting around noon.

According to consumer-driven websites such as AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report and GasBuddy.com, Valley gas prices started Thursday around the $3.85-a-gallon mark and by midday, a handful of stations were well over $4.05 — most at $4.15.

The Youngstown average was $3.962 by late Thursday afternoon, 6 cents higher than it was two days ago.

“Wow,” Vaughn said. “Is this price gouging or what?”

Terry Fleming, executive director of the Ohio Petroleum Council, said he had to fill up this afternoon in Columbus, and gas was $4.19, up from $3.99 earlier in the day.

He was perplexed as to why gas jumped so significantly, especially since crude-oil prices didn’t increase.

Crude oil was about $112 a barrel Thursday, flat-lining after hitting a 21/2-year high earlier in the week.

Tom Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil & Gas Association, speculated the price will come down, but that U.S. shale drilling has kept prices lower than they should be.

There has been speculation about the immediate future of fuel prices, with such wild cards as the political unrest in Syria and Libya and the weak American dollar, and the fear is that a gallon of regular unleaded could cost $5 a gallon by Memorial Day.

Stewart said that’s a stretch, and Fleming said that a barrel of oil would need to cost $168 for regular unleaded gasoline to top $5.

He said that gas likely won’t get there because the crude-oil price fluctuates with demand, and he thinks gas eventually will reach a high enough price that many will cut back or cease driving.

The highest crude-oil cost to date was $147.27 in July 2008.

The economy also could impact fuel prices. The price of crude oil is measured in American dollars, so if the economy continues to improve, crude prices would climb.

“It’s good news, bad news,” he said.

Also in July 2008, the Youngstown-Warren area hit its record average, $4.056 a gallon, according to Bevi Powell, communications director for AAA East Central.


1redeye1(5666 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Sure hope the people who voted for change are enjoying the new gas prices ! Because the Obammy in the White House isn't going to help them. I can't wait to see what else Obammy changes. How about you? I know the D's in this county will blame Bush some how. But its the green energy a$$holes like little Timmy Ryan and Obammy who drove up these gas prices.

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2TERRI_USA(30 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Petro prices are already over $5.00/gallon in Canada. The price for petro in France is over $8.00/gallon, so fuel prices here are exhorbitant, yet we are not the highist

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3NoBS(2829 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Terri-usa, put a sock in it. Canada and Europe pay far more TAXES on their gasoline than we do. If you remove the taxes, they pay about the same, or even a little less, than we do, without our taxes added.

In the US, gasoline taxes vary from state to state, and there is also a federal tax on it. The federal tax is 18.4 cents per gallon. The state taxes can be found here: http://www.gaspricewatch.com/usgastax...

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4lee(544 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Hang in there dems Lord Obama will get it to $5 just like he said he would

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5Photoman(1249 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

We have had more than 30 years to prepare an avoidance of this situation yet we have done so very little. Now we complain and we allow our administration in D.C. to place moratoriums or bans on drilling. While it may involve a considerable time lag before we see a price decline I would suggest we all place heavy, immediate pressure on our elected officials and do so frequently. This situation can be changed.

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6lee(544 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Hay save our country why don't you try refining some crude oil then you can try to get it to all the gas stations in the country, when you can do that you can be a big oil company too

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7Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

MMMMM it was never Bush and thugs fault when he was King but it is President Obama's fault now . What a bunch of bed wetting teabaggers some people are.

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8Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Boils down to greed. Pure and simple.

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9db(280 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Boils down to an incompetent in the white house.

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10Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Which one the oil thug Bush and Chaney or President Obama. Maybe the oil thugs are helping BP get their money back ?????

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11republicanRick(1736 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Speculators are a big factor in driving up the price....if Obama and the tree huggers let us drill for our own oil, the potential supply goes up and the price goes down. Simple economics.

Let us drill in Alaska, North Dakota, the Gulf and watch the price drop. Plus, it creates those union drilling jobs.

Obama and his snooty limousine liberals want us to all drive compact cars. That's why he does little to stop this. Notice Nancy Pelosi is so quiet.

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12city_resident(528 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Just how much cheaper would gas be with all this drilling?

Are we really willing to plunder our natural resources for a small and temporary reduction in gas prices?

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13rcampbell(54 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Republican Rick is half right. Speculators and demand by China and India are the biggest (almost exclusive) factors in the gas prices. These are the free market forces Rick and other Republicans tout as the best for America. Mr Obama, or any President, has almost nothing to do with gas prices and there's little, short of more regulations or nationalization that can be exerted. Are the conservatives here actually suggesting Mr Obama use the government to restrain trade or heavily regulate the oil and gas industry? No, they're not. They're blaming Obama in a juvenile, partisan nonsense reaction instead of placing the blame where it belongs. Lame effort. BTW, Rick, Nancy Pelosi isn't Speaker any longer and doesn't control the debate. Legislation in the House is controlled by the John Boner and the Republicans. It is he who's been pretty silent in coming up with any way to deal with these gas prices from a legislative standpoint.

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14LieDetector(27 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

It is the declining value of the american dollar fueling all our problems: the high unemployment, inflation,declining housing market and record bankrupcies. It's the incompentancy, the smoke screens and mirrors...the lies of this president and his administration causing all this. The years of lies and excuses since his campaign all documented on film, newsreels and transcripts. It is the Naacp mantra of scream racism when youre caught or questioned. Its about winning elections and reelections by playing the race card and sow guilt. We've alll been had and will be had again by the half of the country thats ignorant, uneducated,misinformed, and selfish. Rest in peace USA!!!! Dont forget to thank the liberals for all they've given us. And yes, they will coment on this and cry foul as they have been brainwashed and trained to do. Hence we all will suffer!!

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15republicanRick(1736 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Plunder out natural resources??!! Are you kidding? It's a pipe in the ground.
When you get done eating your organic soy burger grown by cruelty-free vegan farmers let me know.
Stupid oil policies are plundering the American middle class.

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16JME(802 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

"...Canada and Europe pay far more TAXES on their gasoline than we do."

Helps pay for that "free" health care.
Guess we better get used to it.

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17republicanRick(1736 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Rcampbell, nice try. We are not saying more regulations, we are saying less. Let us drill our own oil. This increases supply and provides American union jobs.

Jimmy Carter established the Energy Dept, in the late 70's, to find ways to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. That agency gobbles up 25 BILLION dollars per year in it's budget. Gee, how has that government program worked?

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18rcampbell(54 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

city_resident: The answer to your question is: not much. A) The US has about 4% of the world's oil reserves and uses 25% of the world's oil. We cannot drill enough oil to have any long term effect on prices. B) New drilling takes quite a while to have any impact at all. C) US oil companies have stated several times that China/India are willing to pay more for gas than the US and as multi-national companies that's where Alaskan oil would be sold. The other reserve areas within the US have little to offer on the scale necessary to impact prices. D) This is about speculation by non-oil/gas investors. The "uncertainty" in Libya is the latest excuse for rising prices, but we don't get ANY oil from Libya. It's theWall Street casino at work again. This time instead of gambling your mortgage down the toilet, they're doing it to you with oil. E) Republicans in the House and Senate have consistently prevented any meaningful legislation, esspecially a comprehensive energy plan, to regulate speculators or the oil/gas industry for many years. As usual, the Republicans are the problem and never the solution.

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19Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

So who is really making the money with oil prices up so high?

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20Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Right now Obama is getting the last laugh . Campaign contributions are rolling in and those who voted for him in the past will tolerate the high gas prices . NOW IT'S REALLY PAST TIME FOR A CHANGE !



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21LieDetector(27 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

And its convenient how bush is still being blamed since day one of this administration..how the defecit has almost tripled.....how gitmo is still open...how more jobs are being lost.....how inflation and taxes are going up....how we become less safe and a joke to the rest of the world......yea that bastard bush..and his last couple of years.....oh wait the dems held the house and senate then....hmmmmm.....YEA it must be bush....okay.....whinw..whine....real men blame others huh....grow some obama and you llibs....pathetic

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22JME(802 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

penguinfan1, your comparing apples to oranges.

Clinton was on pace to balance the intergovernmental debt. The public debt when Clinton left office was approximately $5.6 Trillion. The current public debt is approximately 14.3 Trillion - which you conveniently used to compare to Clinton's intergovernenmental debt - nice try.

Public debt has increased every year since the mid-1950's

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23JME(802 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

LieDector, when it comes to the Democrat-Socialist, it's always somebody else's fault.

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24Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

OK I can see that some here can only see through right wing tea party blinders . .If it is up it OB fault , if it is down it is OB fault . No Matter what it is it OB fault . Where were you guys and gals when Bush and thugs were in power ??? . Plus if you can remember the GOP /TEA party are in charge and as soon as they got power the price started to go up .

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25rcampbell(54 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago


Let's review shall we? Bush came into office with a projected surplus. He left with nearly $10 Trillion in debt. There were the '01 tax cuts, then the creation of Homeland Security apparatus (big gov't) plus the nationalization (very socialist) of airport security called the TSA, then more tax cuts for the wealthy (capital gains reduction, etc) and Medicare Part D perscription drug plan. On top of all that there were the military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Everything I've mentioned was done with money borrowed primarily from China which added millions of dollars daily to pay the additional interest. Gosh, I almost forgot another trillion for TARP (more socialism). Not one of the above referenced items was p[aid for by revenue increases or program cuts. Added together, Bush left office with a severely damaged world economy due primarily to his policies of non-regulation of Wall Street and banksters, nearly historic high unemployment, demoralized citizenry and just over $10 trillion in debt accumulated since 2000. Obama spent $1 trillion to provide an economy when industry could not or would not. The only reason the debt looked higher when Obama took office is that after the Dems took both Houses in '06, they insisted the war expenses be carried on the books instead of being hidden by Bush and the GOP until then by using Contuning resolutions. BTW, between 2000-2006, the GOP raised the debt ceiliong at least 8 times.

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26MLC75(661 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

We argue and blame past and current administrations for all of the problems.News Flash both parties are bad,the Republicans and the Democrats have done nothing to help us Americans.Both parties have an agenda and it isn't for the average American.

This isn't the America that I grew up in,what a shame.We are heading in the same direction as the Roman Empire,time will tell.

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27JME(802 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago


Clinton left office with over $5.6 Trillion public debt - that's the kind that's owned by China.

The debt you are referring to is intergovernmental debt.

Debt Held by the Public + Intragovernmental Holdings =
Total Public Debt Outstanding

Clinton didn't leave a surplus, Public debt has increased every year since the mid-1950's under Democrats and Republicans.

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28oldmillspice(160 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Right on liedetector ! All smoke and mirrors ! Printing all this fiat monopoly money I beleive is the main cause , The sheep cannot see this . Alot of folks in this country are pure and simple STUPID.

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29redeye1(5666 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

My new favorite bumper sticker " If you voted for Obama in 2008 to show your are not a RACIST, you better vote for someone else in 2012 to show your are not an IDIOT

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30Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Amid the chants of four more years and $6.00 per gallon gas Barack Obama was elected for his second term . . ..


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31rcampbell(54 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago


You've made a distinction but without it making a difference. The CBO projected a budget surplus for the ensuing ten years as Clinton left office. By whatever measure, the point is that the vast majority of the crushing debt we're living with and that THIS President is trying to shrink without picking on the poor, the elderly, children and women, came from the previous administration.

It was that projected surplus that started the Congressional debate that concluded with the tax cuts of '01. Congress was encouraged by the now shamed Alan Greenspan to distribute that surplus. The fact that we were looking at a presumed surplus is what makes it so galling to hear Republicans defend maintaining those cuts for income in excess of $250K. We aren't facing the prospect of a surplus these days, are we?

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32Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago


I Love that picture!

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33atek101(77 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

The price of gas (or fuel in general) will continue to be an issue so long as our society is solely dependent on cars to get everywhere we need to go on a daily basis. You can blame it on any politician you want, but we need to make smarter and more sustainable living choices if we expect this situation to ever change.

We need to live closer together and closer to the places we work, play, shop, and to where our kids go to school. We need to advocate for housing options that are more dense, so that our region can support options like mass transit, which becomes more economical the more people use it.

Locally speaking, we have a center city (Youngstown) with the infrastructure to support 200,000 people, predominantly in single-family dwellings. Yet we continue to build new auto-dependent development further and further out on the periphery of our Valley. It's simply not logical, especially for a shrinking region, and it's going to take local entrepreneurs and smart choices on our part to reverse this trend.

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34ValleyNative(174 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Of course none of the jagoffs in this area understand supply and demand, cartels, etc.

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35Jake(112 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Econ 101, supply and demand folks. Everything Obama has done in this area has served to limit supply while we continue to demand more fuel. He can yap all day about other people but at the end of it he has done nothing, and will do nothing, to increase supply.

He has no interest in lowering gas prices, because he wants to "invest" - if you haven't heard him say this you really aren't paying attention - in "alternative" sources and public transportation. The best way to get you to go along with it is for gas prices to sky rocket, as long as you don't blame him for it.

But I'm sure you'll all run out and vote for him again next year. Suckers...

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36neohio1965(2 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

The problem is too much demand from China and India and that demand will only increase. There's not enough big oil fields easy to access left to meet the increased demand. Now it doesn't matter as much if we cut our consumption back, we still pay higher prices. The politicians on ALL sides don't get it, or if they do they just don't give a crap. "Drill, baby, drill!" doesn't work when there's nothing left to drill. Tar sands, arctic, shale - there's not enough metal left in the ground to build the rigs to even come near to making up the oil we import from overseas. We've hit the wall - it's just how we pick up the pieces that will count now.

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37oldskooltiger(6 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Dime bag your the one smoking where the hell do u get your BS facts. Obama funneling oil money back to the mother land, someone smoking the pipe. Your colors are showing. You,ve got half of your name right just change the dime part.

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